No Network Connection: Tears In Heaven

“We hope to explore and use space for more resources to promote human development.”   –Li Benzheng (Director, China’s Lunar Program)

What a lovely thought! Isn’t that special! Don’t you just love the Chinese… no bullshit!  Just direct action and facts, nothing but the facts.  They are going to USE space to plunder yet more resources for human development.  Is this some form of political psycho-babble, galactic ignorance, or just plain hegemonic arrogance? But, how nice of them to be so forthcoming!

You see the term “human development” has been the lynch-pin, the avatar, the  buzz-word throughout the entire written history of, well… ‘human development,’ viz., the advent of the civilized (read: literate) world.  Following our self-expulsion from the primeval forests and savannas (no, there was no garden, my friends!), we (Homo sapiens sapiens) became obsessed with growth and with growing things, i.e., with management, with progress, and improvement… in short, with our own human development and the various tools of the trade, viz., agriculture, architecture, building construction, legal and economic systems, financial instruments, political institutions, and the wholesale transformation of the natural environment, as well as a deep concern for protecting our assets and our asses, viz., the establishment of standing armies and up-armored, militarized police forces, including night sticks, pistols, semi automatics, jets, aircraft carriers, smart bombs, drones (up-armed and unarmed), as well as nuclear, biological and chemical helpmates.

Now that we have pretty well raped, plundered, and denuded this-once earthly paradise, the Chinese, Russians and Indians are going to join us or try to beat us in the race to find galactic resources to supercharge our heedless march forward, happily ignoring the primal fact that things are all connected.  (Note to self: why are we so consumed with ‘races’ and ‘wars’?) We fail to remember what early Homo sapiens, and before her, what Homo erectus and Australopithecus afarensis, pre-consciously and pre-thematically understood… that this world we inhabit is one intertwined web of relations, and that we are intimately implicated in the territory.

As a civilization, we seem overly concerned about our network connections, “is the WiFi up an running?” – but not in the least bit curious about our interconnectedness with the vast panoply of nature that once surrounded us.  It seems as though the territory has become arbitrary, that it is not sacred, that it has no vital relation to us… but is there simply to be used and used-up in the interests of ‘human development’.

Just like young Sergei, in our video clip above, we no longer grasp the interconnectedness of things; the world has become peopled with objects for our consumption and comfort, for our entertainment and distraction, for our times of joy and our sorrows, for our guilt and for our innocence, places for productive excavation and the administration of progress.  This is all that matters any more.  Where is the connection?  Have we lost it?  Did we ever have it?  Thank god the network is working; we certainly can’t live without it.  Just wait!

Now, some touching Eric to make you feel!

64 Responses to No Network Connection: Tears In Heaven

  1. Disaffected says:

    Love that clip. And the moment is broken by – what else? – the ring of the ubiquitous cell phone.

    And I wouldn’t put any money just yet on the Chinese getting anywhere in space. Something tells me events here on earth are going to dictate a very different future from the one they’re currently imagining.

  2. Clifford Krolick says:

    Agree! We will not likely get much further in space ourselves

  3. javacat says:

    And as we celebrate the appropriated pagan/druidic celebration, marking of the return to the light, you offer us an interesting juxtaposition of the teaser of discovery and the incomprehensible separation of being from place. Even amid the stacks of gifts, the crumpled wrapping paper, we long for and search for more, for a deeper, intuitive connection and understanding.There are moments when the boundaries are softer, but our heads get in the way.

    The solstice is past and we move toward light again. Today, encased in cold and ice, but warm and with power and wifi! 😉 Many are discovering the dilemma of being without power or heat–ice-imposed this time. Mostly, it’s bringing out the good in people, but then, there’s still enough to go around.

    Best wishes to all.

  4. kulturcritic says:

    Let us not forget Mr George Harrison in our tribute!

    • the Heretick says:

      “When you’ve seen beyond yourself then you may find
      Peace of mind is waiting there
      And the time will come when you see we’re all one
      And life flows on within you and without you”

      most excellent clapton/cream clip, they have slowed down a beat or two, but they are still and will always be masters of their craft.

      really like the look of the movie clip, very european, maybe it’s the lighting, but it’s very pleasing.

      space, the ultimate frontier, just hard to find a place to water the cattle……………..
      and after all, it is the reign of the almighty “universal” product code……………..

      to infinity and beyond!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • kulturcritic says:

      Please relook at the video… I had the wrong one attached! My Guitar Gently Weeps!!

  5. 99 cent nation says:

    Would some one explain to me just how one uploads a photo to Sandy’s blog. Can’t seem to figure it out. I have a photo that speaks to this excellent article and also enjoyed the teaser. Russian shawmen. Wow.I didn’t know that. I keep thinking all shawmen/women are running around in loin cloths in the jungles of the world totally in touch with nature in a warm way. Learn something everyday keeps the brain rewiring itself without needing to know the direction or the outcome.

  6. Disaffected says:

    For those who haven’t read it yet, the Archdruid’s latest today, in which he in no uncertain terms calls out a significant portion of the Republican right as practicing Satanists and asks them to just come out of the closet already, is certainly worth the effort. Gives me some newfound respect for the guy.

  7. the Heretick says:

    As a civilization, we seem overly concerned about our network connections, “is the WiFi up an running?” – but not in the least bit curious about our interconnectedness with the vast panoply of nature that once surrounded us. It seems as though the territory has become arbitrary, that it is not sacred, that it has no vital relation to us… but is there simply to be used and used-up in the interests of ‘human development’.

    i call it the lost horizon.

  8. kulturcritic says:

    THIS IS JUST INCREDIBLE… dueling guitars weeping at the end!

    • the Heretick says:

      my favorite Beatle, with the guy who played the original solo. gotta wonder sometimes if Harrison had played it himself, what would it have sounded like.
      for real fanatics………………

      some tasty licks from George here, towards the end you can hear how John fixed Sir Paul’s song up for him.

    • Disaffected says:

      Who knew so many guitars were so sad? Tragic, really.

  9. the Heretick says:

    looks like the NSA has no problems with connections. maybe the divisions between people are insoluble, but i don’t think tptb are really looking for solutions; divide and conquer seems to be working, for them.

    so we have up and down armor, as you said.

    • Disaffected says:

      Evidently, a judge now agrees with the NSA too. Surprise, surprise. After Citizen’s United, perhaps The Supreme’s will just cut to the chase and hold that US citizens have NO rights whatsoever when this one comes up before them, thus officially declaring us all corporate/governmental slaves. I tell ya, Walk Hard!‘s looking more feasible every day.

      • kulturcritic says:

        The real question is: when will the American people wake up, and speak up en mass. When will they put their feet down collectively and say to the institutions of US government, executive, legislative and judicial… “we have had enough and we are not going to take it anymore?!” When will the “bough break”? When will voices be raised to the level of turbulence, so that their own broken bodies become their only defense from absolute tyranny?!

        • Disaffected says:

          I don’t think they ever will. Never underestimate the power of mass hysteria. Most people I know up here think the government’s not still not intrusive enough!

        • Colin says:

          There is one problem –

          The moment they do this the system comes apart because underneath the hard shell of American “Might” is a vacuum of naked short sold option calls, defaulted credit swaps, infinitely rehypothecated fractional diluted fiat toilet paper and so one. Animals show their teeth when they are cornered and desparate – so too is it with nations. The US is doing everything it can to prevent anyone from standing up from distraction, to mockery to shame, fear, coercion, bribery and even violence. I don’t know what comes next and even if I did I probably would be afraid to tell anyone…..

  10. Colin says:

    And so it begins – from thoughts to action. Really intriguing clip – pulls you right in.

    Now I have something to show people….

    Thank You Sandy

    -Colin

    • Disaffected says:

      Unfortunately, we’ve been succumbing to the culture of fear since Ike first warned us about it back in ’61, with no apparent letup in sight. The presumed Dem frontrunner HillBillary is even more openly hawkish than Soul Brother Obama, and she’ll nominally be the “liberal” choice. And although it’s easy to blame the corporations and the politicians for this sorry state of affairs, the 1/6th or so of the population who actually show up to vote apparently have no problem with this equation whatsoever. Further, although I used to think that we could at least stop this by our youth refusing to volunteer to serve our corporate masters as our military and law enforcement keepers (which they’re not), with ongoing technological developments (which this video amply highlighted) even that is rapidly becoming a moot point. I think the US is rapidly going the way of the old USSR, albeit the corporate plutocrats that raided the USSR after its fall (and whom Putin jailed many) are already comfortably ensconced here and ain’t going anywhere.

    • Disaffected says:

      Or, as Kunstler opines this morning:

      The distortion that even simple people care about is that the gap between the rich and the poor is as plain, vast, and grotesque as at any time in our history — except perhaps during slavery times in Dixieland, when many of the poor did not even own their existence. We’ve had plenty of reminders of that in pop culture the last couple of years, including Quentin Tarantino’s fiercely stupid movie Django Unchained and the more recent melodrama 12 Years a Slave. But you have to wonder what young adults weighed down by unpayable college debt think when they go to see them, because without a rebellion that millennial generation will not own their own lives either. They must know it, but they must not know what to do about it.


      The pretense and distortions start at the top of American life with a President who broadcasts the message that some kind of “recovery” has occurred in the economic affairs of the country. Either he just wants the public feel better, or he is misled by the people and agencies in his own government, or perhaps he just lies to keep the lid on. To truly recover from the dislocations of 2008, we would have to make a consensual decision to start behaving differently in the process of adapting to the new circumstances that the arc of history is presenting to us. We’d have to decide to leave behind the economy of financialization, suburban sprawl, car dependency, Wal-Mart consumerism, and prepare for a different way of inhabiting North America.

      Just as back in the 60’s, the young are going to have to lead any prospective revolution. They’re the one’s with the greatest stake in it’s outcome and they’re the one’s that will ultimately have to live with its results.

      • Colin says:

        I agree with James but I can’t see the youth of American caring enough. They are still wrapped up in their self-image, Facebook and Twitter accounts. They think Ipods represent the best of modern technology while failing to ask where their energy is coming from. I believe we can and should do better but somehow we can’t. That said, I’ve come with my own theory – it’s not liberalism or conservatism that is destroying America….

        It’s Nihilism.

        Too many people who just don’t give a damn and don’t believe in ANYTHING. I mean I’ve gotten into countless arguments with all kinds of idiotic people and the best way I can describe the basis of their arguments is that they just don’t care, don’t believe in much of anything, don’t think anything outside of their little world is going to affect them and even if it did they would claim not to notice.

        I’ve decided its time to start shaming people and that includes my own friends and family even if it risks alienation. People need to have the stark choices painted in front of them. They are free to choose but they are NOT free of the consequences of their decisions. That is the ultimate lie behind the “Feel Good” generation and the “Age of Ease” which describes the last 30 years of America and unfortunately most of my life.

        This year will be the year of “doing” and not just “talking” out your differences with myopic individuals. If people want to live in their bubble worlds leave them there. Stop visiting them for the holidays and sending them gifts, money, thank you cards, etc. and request the same in return. I am tired of the formalities of American life as much as anything. Ignorance should not be rewarded imo…..

        • Colin says:

          Jesus I sound old and crusty….

          I stand by what I said though

          • kulturcritic says:

            You sound fine, Colin. Just don’t cut off your old lifelines on principal.

            • Colin says:

              Thanks for the advice. I will always have a core group of friends/family. I’ve just been slowly cutting off people over the years that add nothing to my life. A small example…

              I was essentially rebuked by a family member recently due to a political argument. They of the “New York Times” elite-reading crowd whilst me a rebel/insurgent representing the new frontier of the internet. Our views don’t mix and I have no desire to pretend otherwise anymore. They believe the NSA is there to protect our bank accounts from “hackers” and I believe hackers are basically the good guys at this point. Kind of hard to reconcile don’t you think?

        • Colin says:

          Just to clarify – I am using the term “Nihilism” loosely here meaning something akin to apathy. I am not talking about the kind of intellectual nihilism you might read in a university (say Nietzsche) but rather the act of not caring about anything and not believing in the existence of anything beyond yourself whilst simultaneously being too lazy to bother writing about it or at least trying to prove it.

          That said, I think Nietzsche was a nut job.

        • Disaffected says:

          Colin,
          Interesting you should bring that up (nihilism). JMG’s recent posts have touched on the subject and reawakened the realization of its hazards in me again. In my recent past I have actually embraced the concept to the point that it was actually my handle on some other boards I used to frequent (DaNihilist, or some such non-sense). And as Greer rightly points out and I can personally attest, the great hazard of fashioning yourself so morally and/or intellectually superior as to believe in nothing is to (it would seem to be obvious to any moron) become lost in, even a stranger to the world in which one actually lives. And as Nietzsche (among others) can no doubt personally attest, that’s not a place anyone can actually inhabit for very long without going insane and/or killing themselves. Yes, we are creatures of myth, which is, of course, the whole reason for the mass ‘insanity’ we call religion. Now if we could just convince the ‘religionistas’ to practice a little moderation and cultural context in their beliefs and practices (realizing, of course, that they too are being played for fools by multiple political actors, each with multiple political axes to grind) perhaps we could get on with things and begin to address the REAL cultural travesty that is Global Industrial Capitalism and what Greer terms the Secular Religion of Progress.

          By the way, there’s an excellent post and comments over on NakCap today that covers the same ground in MUCH greater detail:

          NakCap – Illargi

      • kulturcritic says:

        Interesting assessment of Nietzsche, Colin. Care to elaborrrrate?

        • Colin says:

          I guess I am distinguishing between cultural nihilism/apathy and intellectual nihilism. Intellectual nihilism from what little I understand at least has some philosophical underpinnings – someone had to care enough to write about it and what it meant and form some logical basis for it. The kind of cultural nihilism and apathy I am seeing in my fellow Americans would preclude them from engaging in any kind of intellectual activity at all, least of all arguing for something because they would have to care enough to communicate their ideas clearly and use some of their dormant critical thinking skills as well which would probably feel rather daunting to them. What do Americans really believe in anymore besides money/fame/fortune? Certainly not what the founding fathers were promoting. Mostly though they are looking for others to tell them what they think is permitted or sanctioned and beyond that they don’t seem to care much or have any curiosity which I find inexcusably lame. Point is that even though I don’t agree with what I know about Nietzsche or his rather extreme views and lifestyle (from my perspective), I do respect him as a philosopher and a man of knowledge – something most Americans are not.

      • kulturcritic says:

        Absolutely agree about the NSA and the sickness parading around as normality.

        • Colin says:

          I think the NSA knows it can try to divide the public at this point using divide-and-conquer strategies. I read an article on linked-in recently about how the NSA is recruiting students straight out of high school to tap into the “genius” of the next generation. The point of the article was to demonstrate to Corporate America the untapped potential of adolescent cyber-nerds and recruiting them young (i.e. before they develop into self-respecting, thinking adults). The comments then ranged from “what are these people insane?” to “This is the future! unlimited potential – go NSA!”. Then a “former” NSA worker shows up and starts commenting telling everyone who said something about this program being sick to just “chill out” and that they don’t understand because you know its all secret but hey they know what they are doing and the parents love it because their uber-child now can support them. I wanted to comment but frankly I felt like the whole thing was a setup to monitor people – crazy eh?

          If you want to read it the article is here:

          http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20131230163512-101631122-high-school-students-vs-the-nsa?goback=.nmp_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1&trk=nmp_rec_act_article_detail

    • Disaffected says:

      Didn’t realize that Russia had the winter Olympics. Talk about things which have been corrupted! And to think that the modern Olympics were conceived as purely amateur events. Now they’re little more than state sponsored corporate cauldrons of graft. Doubt I’ll ever watch one again. I think Putin will prove to be more of the iron fist to Obama’s velvet glove approach, something I think you have to respect in a authoritarian strongman. Obama plays his role just a little too cute for my taste.

      • kulturcritic says:

        Heating up, yes! But I would not bet on the Chechens against Putin. Although it is the same imperial reaching you see in USA that has led to the Chechen problem.

        • Disaffected says:

          I have to respect Putin for the same reason I have to grant the few remaining old school Repubes here in the US the same: they are what they say they are. Faint praise that, especially when you consider that what they say they are is essentially old school authoritarian strongmen, but hey, that’s what politics have sunk to these days. Just another reason why my mom and her generation weren’t entirely wrong in rejecting the Dems for their self-declared enemies. In her oft repeated words, “Never trust the Dems. They’ll disappoint you every time.” No truer words ever spoken. And this from a life-long and decidedly lower middle class denizen at that.

          Devil A or Devil B, pick your poison. In the end, they’ll fuck you first, take your shit second, and kill you in the end third, either way. Welcome to the new hierarchy, same as the old hierarchy…

          • Colin says:

            Every time the US has tried to remove an iron-fisted “dictator” in my lifetime we’ve gotten something horrendously worse in return. Who can argue that Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and now Syria were not better off under their respected iron-fisted rulers? The best form of government in the world is a benevolent dictator – the stuff the people need gets done without any red tape to hold it up. What you need a new rail line to connect to your village to send goods in the Russian winter? Done….

            Putin is about as close to that as you’ll find on the planet imo. That’s not to say he doesn’t have a dangerous or nefarious side – all leaders do. I just can’t find anything to criticize him for that other leaders in the west haven’t engaged in or worse…..

            • Disaffected says:

              I guess the only thing I’d add to that is that in many if not most cases the US was more than likely actually trying to stir things up a bit by instigating a bit of instability, explanations to the world and its citizenry notwithstanding. I mean really, in the aftermath of the false flag event 9-11, could anything our then illegitimate government have done surprised any of us? They had in no uncertain terms written themselves a blank check for whatever nefarious bullshit Cheney, Rumsfeld, Feith (aka McNamara reincarnate), et al could come up with.

              But like I said, I trust Putin more simply because I think he’s less likely to have hidden agendas. The US and the west in general is, at this point, little more than a house of mirrors. Lies, half-truths, and truths all mixed up in a toxic devil’s brew.

              • Colin says:

                Probably so but I am not even sure whether Putin is that bad of a guy. That’s probably incredibly naive of me but the only stories the west seems to be able to come up with to smear him are that stupid “Pussy Riot” band being thrown in jail or that he supports Assad vs. the Syrian Rebels (which I agree with btw) or some crazy crap about how he’s not supportive enough of LGBT agenda (Obama’s latest fashionable cause).

                We are told stories about how he’s imprisoned Oil Barons and “clamped down on the media” (like which nation doesn’t these days?) or the worst smear article of them all was when New England Patriots Owner Robert Kraft claimed that Putin stole his superbowl ring and that he never meant to give it to him, just to try it on (honestly does that not sound like the story of a 3 year old child?). Robert Kraft, the man who is most certainly behind spygate and the whole (ongoing) Patriots cheating scandal (not that you would care about football but I do). I am supposed to believe his childish story just because he’s Robert Kraft and is a “Patriot”.

                Anyways, I am digressing a bit here but like I said, I can’t find anything wrong with Putin beyond these trivial (and stupid) smear stories. And when I hear him interviewed (particularly regarding the Snowden case) he sounds remarkably level-headed and forthright whereas Obama and his lackey Jay Carney just sound like whiney teenagers over the whole thing. I dunno man but I just go with what I see….

                • Disaffected says:

                  Agreed. Reminds of the time back in NCO military brainwashing academy during the late 80s at the height of Reagan inspired anti-Soviet hysteria. They asked some stupid question like if you could ask anyone you wanted living or dead one question, who and what would it be? I said it would be any Russian conscript counterpart and I’d ask him if and/or why they were so hostile to us. Of course now I know the answer to that question (they weren’t for the most part, but they were scared then like we are now of the effects of run amuck global capitalism), but needless to say, it didn’t win me any class points for spouting off like that. Fuck it I said, I was never cut out for this military shit anyway. It’s amazing I lasted as long as I did, but the military (surprisingly) tolerated quite a few of us rogue dogs, being first and foremost, a pragmatic organization.

                  • Colin says:

                    Bravo for serving none the less! Tip my hat to you. Not because of who you served but because you chose to serve period. Generally speaking I don’t hold military accountable for horrible foreign policy decisions made by rat bastard politicians. Anyways, you seemed to have come out well regardless of the experience. I have a very good friend who used to be a Royal Navy Commando (British Marine) – total salt of the earth guy. He’s told me some crazy stories about Iraq etc., but he knows how the political game is played and apparently many other marines figured out at some point that they were being used for political purposes from what I understand.

                  • Disaffected says:

                    Thanks. A great many in the military are disaffected too, although few have the leeway to express it like I do now. That said, I still think the only way to crack the military industrial police state is for the young to quit volunteering for the shit. Not that that’s likely to happen of course, what with so many economic factors (employment opportunity, education and health care benefits, travel, etc.) for the youth being tied to signing up. And most have the right instinct for doing so as well. It’s only after they join and realize the buzz saw they just submitted themselves too that they finally wake up. Too late of course. And just as in everything else, the military will use you up gladly, then the pols will gladly renege on all the promises they made to entice you in in the first place. Quite a racket the rich and powerful are running these days, but they can’t do any of it without our willing consent.

  11. Disaffected says:

    Hey HT, here’s my response to last week’s post about your response regarding the veracity of today’s “rice burners” vs. modern American muscle. Needless to say, the demise of American cubic inch muscle has been greatly exaggerated, although the Farm Truck mentality certainly plays to that superstition. Nitrous, it seems, is an equal opportunity employer. Sorry for the ubiquitous opening sponsor video:

    http://dsc.discovery.com/tv-shows/street-outlaws/videos/farmtruck-under-the-hood.htm

  12. Disaffected says:

    The modern Bohemian/Nihilist/Capitalist Rhapsody before we even knew it was true, sung by some guy named Freddy (sound cuts off at 5:30):

    On the other hand, this same Parsi character managed to toss off this…

    …and this in his spare time…

    …so I guess he wasn’t TOO bad afterall.

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